“We won 10 games last year. I don’t know if you know”
It was with this laid-back, lazy detour that Kirk Ferentz dismissed legitimate questions about his son’s ability to do his job as offensive coordinator. Yes, the Hawkeyes won ten games last year, thanks in large part to one of the greatest defenses college football has ever seen. They also squandered a chance at Big Ten champions, Citrus Bowl champions and possibly even a playoff appearance by refusing to acknowledge or make adjustments to the county’s 121st-ranked offense.
There’s no other program in all of college football where the offensive coordinator would be allowed to stay on after the last two and a half seasons that Brian Ferentz has put together. Iowa is currently good last (out of 131 teams) in the country in full attack. They are last in first tries per game. Second in total points. 127th in rushing yards per game.
(If you want to get a good idea of the historical seriousness of the offense, our friends at Go Iowa Awesome dove into the stats)
Kirk Ferentz received millions of dollars and the almost unconditional support and admiration of his community in return for being the steward of the football program, but if his judgment is so far off that he will sacrifice the success of the program for the career of his own son. , then I think he is no longer capable of leading the football program.
His son’s tenure as offensive coordinator has been so disastrous that he’s more or less unemployable at this point unless he calls Bill Belichick another favor the next time he needs help. a positional trainer. Hiring Brian in the first place was an incredibly selfish act, and everything that’s happened since then has been downright shameful.
What is happening to this program is embarrassing and unfair to players, fans and every coach who is not a Ferentz. Brian Ferentz was a complete failure, even by the low standards of how Iowa measures offensive success. If Kirk doesn’t want to replace Brian, he’s no longer capable of running a Big Ten football program.
So where do we go from here? The Kirk Ferentz buyout is so large ($6 million per year remaining, $42 million total) that he is functionally unremovable and therefore has no incentive to do the right thing and make changes that he doesn’t want to do. You can add “making Kirk Ferentz an irresponsible god-emperor” to athletic director Gary Barta’s already shamefully long list of dismissable offenses, so as far as I’m concerned, his work should be on the chopping block as well.
Kirk Ferentz has coached Iowa for so long that there’s a whole generation of fans who know nothing else. When things go wrong, our reaction is “fuck it sucks for us” because we’ve been conditioned to believe that nothing will change. My biggest fear is that we’ve become too complacent as fans. The kind of nepotism at play here is not normal, and it should not be acceptable anywhere. The riots began less and less.
We should picket Gary Barta’s office and flood him with emails and phone calls. We need to stop going to games, stop I-Club donations and all the other tools we have. We were able to exert enough public pressure to get rid of Chris Doyle, arguably the most powerful assistant coach in the program (who, coincidentally, Brian was involved alongside and walked away unscathed). I don’t know if we can do enough to make a stationary object move, but I know for sure that nothing is going to change on its own.
It was not easy for me to write all this. I grew up in the twilight of the Hayden Fry era, so Kirk Ferentz is pretty much all I’ve ever known as a fan. I am grateful for the things he has accomplished and all the good memories he has left me over the years, but compromising the program and its integrity to give its surprisingly unskilled son a well-paying job he couldn’t get anywhere else, he reports that he has lost his ability to be an effective leader.
It’s not like making your son the sales manager of the family mattress store. This football program does not belong to him. He might be the most powerful person there, but that belongs to the university, the community, and the fans. The football program is bigger than Kirk Ferentz and the ambitions he has for his son. We gave him everything he could have asked for, and he repaid us with selfishness and disdain.